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Is it OK to permit an independent home health provider to drive our elderly mother to her therapy or doctor appointments?
thank you

legrosa: Imho, this is such a generalized question. However, in response, some of the issues that come to mind are as folllows: Is this proposed driver adept at winter driving in your state of Ohio - think black ice and treacherous road conditions?, Does this proposed individual possess insurance?, How many therapy and doctor appointments are there?, Who is paying for the gasoline? and Whose auto will be used? There actually could be a lot more questions; this is your mother's life to be honest.
True story: My late mother had a friend and my mother, who was a legally blind woman, would sometimes be a passenger in this friend's auto. After learning that this friend considered a stop sign or a red light a "suggestion," I said to my mother "You will never ride with Doris again."
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Reply to Llamalover47
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First of all, take a test drive in all road conditions and see if this is a safe, capable driver. Then look into their insurance company regulations and also your own insurance company. Find out where you stand if something happens - protect yourself completely. And if they use their car, you would have to pay them xx cents/dollars per mile - but I don't know how you find out what that is. Perhaps talk to an eldercare attorney and if they are from an agency, check with them.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Cynthiasdaughtr expressed the same concern I have. I think it so important for family member to be there to hear everything but you could ask the caregiver to record it on her phone and share it with you. Well, actually make it a condition.
Whoever of my siblings took mom to doctor would share the recording with me, her live in caregiver.

Our caregiver would take her on outings to lunch and shop and my mom loved doing that. She drove moms car, mom paid for lunch and she was in such a good mood after. It wasn’t an easy task with getting the walker in and out and walking at a snails pace but wonderful. Good luck.
love and light
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Reply to PatienceSD
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Most of the answers so far address insurance and legalities, which are important.
BUT, you still might want to go with your mother to doctor's appointments. We had two independent home health providers for my mom. One of them, who loved my mother fiercely, would drive her to appointments. I never worried about her driving, or that she wouldn't take wonderful care of my mom.
What was an issue was that the caregiver, who loved my mom fiercely, tended to want to be in charge of my mother's medical care, and would only report to me the information that she thought I needed to know and that wouldn't worry me too much, which was a lot less than what I thought I needed to know. I had to gently but firmly insist that I went on all doctor appointments and was fully informed of any issues at home.
When a caregiver takes a patient to the doctor, the information you get will be, filtered by what your loved one and the caregiver; 1) remember, 2) understand (especially if there is a language barrier), 3) think is important for you to know.
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Reply to Cynthiasdaughtr
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Yes.

My mother-in-law lives out of state from all family - her choice when she was younger and lucid. Her caretaker drives her to appointments and to run errands in the caretaker's car.

If you have concerns, make sure the caretaker is licensed, insured, and in good health to drive. Also make sure the vehicle is in good condition.
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Reply to Taarna
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My father’s helper drove him all around, errands and appointments. There was never an issue
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Yes, of course they can do driving, it is very common to have an aid do appointments.

I would verify her legalities and check the IRS website for how much allowance for miles driven. Last time I checked it was .59 per mile but, it changes annually. This amount covers fuel, wear and tear and oil change type maintenance. Because fuel is not the only expense, you really want to do this. It shows gratitude for her using her personal vehicle. It is super easy with maps to verify mileage.

If she is using moms vehicle, speak to mom's insurance agent and find out if you need to do anything to ensure coverage. You would not pay her mileage if it is not her vehicle.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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If the aide is using her car, then she needs to find out what she needs to do thru her insurance co. If using the aides car, she should be compensated for gas.

If she is using the clients car, the client needs to check with their insurance company about an additional driver. The client pays any additional charges.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I agree with Midkid here absolutely. The important thing is to ascertain if this person is qualified to drive, is licensed in the state and has insurance. Once those things are in place then the likelihood of anyone having an accident on any given day is anyone's guess; that would include your own driving. It's a mad world out there on the highways.
Ask your caregiver for copy of insurance and driver's license.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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I worked in ELder Care. My company carried the insurance on any vehicle I drove in with my clients. I would not have ever taken them anywhere if not fully insured.

My client with Parkinson's would routinely try to open her car door while we were on the freeway. Thank goodness for 'kid locks', she couldn't open the car from inside.

If an agency isn't covering you, then you should have your own policy written to cover you in her car, or yours.
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Reply to Midkid58
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"Independent home health provider" raises some issues in terms of auto liability insurance.   Is this person providing care as an individual, or does she have a business?  Either way, if she's going to be providing transportation, she needs to contact her auto insurance agent or carrier to determine if, and/or how your mother can be covered in the event of an accident.

Until you have proof of such coverage, it wouldn't be wise to allow your mother to be driven by this person.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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